Intel’s Haswell ‘North Cape’ prototype can switch screen size in tablet mode

haswell-2-650x0

Back at CES in January, we only caught a glimpse of Intel’s Haswell-running tablet-laptop hybrid prototype. There weren’t very many details on how this so-called “North Cape” device works, but at Intel’s Innovation Future Showcase in London this week, Engadget got a closer look, helping us fill in the blanks on this prototype and hint at what we can expect in future devices.

One of North Cape’s most interesting features is “Smart Frame,” which, depending on how you use your device, basically resizes its 13.3-inch display’s viewable area on the fly but without changing its physical dimensions. After all, a wider bezel around the display makes it more grip-friendly in tablet mode, but you’d want as big of a screen as possible when you’re trying to navigate Windows 8’s side-scrolling home screen in laptop mode.

When you detach North Cape from its keyboard dock, Smart Frame is able to shrink the 13.3-inch screen’s bezel and decrease its viewable area down to 11.6 inches (disabling touch controls around the screen). When you dock the screen to the keyboard, the bezel almost disappears to give you as much screen real estate as possible on a 13.3-inch display. According to Geek.com, Intel is able to do this by adding a virtual bezel around the screen that can morph between tablet and laptop modes.

In addition, North Cape makes it easier to undock the screen from its keyboard dock by putting an unlock button along the top of the display. Current tablet-laptop hybrid designs typically place the unlock button in the middle of the dock, so you need to use two-hands to both unlock and catch the screen in case it falls. From what Engadget could see, North Cape has one button on top of the screen, which activates an electric latch when pressed to make it possible to unlock the two parts with one-hand. 

The Haswell processor is supposed to offer better battery life than the current generation of Intel Core chips, with the company touting a high of 13 hours at its CES press conference back in January. Based on what Engadget was shown in London, it looks like a Haswell-powered tablet should be good for 10 hours between charges  – and that’s without taking into account the extra battery life offered by the keyboard dock.

We expect features like the Smart Frame, new unlock button, and 10-plus-hour battery life to be a part of the new line of Haswell hybrids due to launch in a couple of months. Which feature are you most looking forward to in Haswell-powered devices?

Computing

HP drops killer deals on laptops with up to $1,300 off for Memorial Day Weekend

HP is currently dropping prices on Spectre x360, Envy, Pavilion, and Omen laptops during its Memorial Day event. So if you're in dire need of a new laptop, the latest holiday savings may be exactly what you're looking for.
Computing

The Dell XPS 13 headlines the best laptop deals for May 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Computing

Keep your kids safe online with these great parental control tools

The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for your loved ones. Check out our selection of the best free parental control software for Windows and MacOS, so you can monitor your child and block unsavory sites.
Computing

These external drives have speed, durability, and storage space to spare

Whether you want an external storage drive that is fast, portable, or comes with a ton of storage, these are the best external hard drives available today. They all come with great features and competitive pricing.
Computing

The 2019 ThinkPad lineup is robust. Here's how to pick the right one for you

Be it the X series, the T series, E series, it can be tough to find the best Lenovo laptop that is right for you. To help, we'll break down all the options available to make your choice a more informed one.
Computing

Here’s how to watch AMD reveal its new Ryzen chips at Computex

AMD will be holding a pre-Computex keynote on May 27 to announce its new line of 3rd-generation Ryzen processors and accompanying Radeon Navi graphics cards. Here's how to watch the keynote live wherever you are in the world.
Computing

Microsoft might finally embrace USB-C on next-gen Surface Pro 7

USB-C could finally come to Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet. According to a Microsoft patent filing, the port was shown in an illustration, suggesting that the company is working to support this feature in the future.
Computing

Should you buy a MacBook Pro or a Razer Blade Stealth? We'll help you decide

Laptop head to heads are a great way to see which one might be the right one for you. Our latest sees the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) vs. MacBook Pro in a fight to see which one deserves to be your next laptop.
Computing

AMD's latest Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Ryzen 3000 chips will pack a punch, and could launch as early as July

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Deals

Walmart Memorial Day sale: 4K TVs, laptops, and Apple iPads get price cuts

The Walmart Memorial Day sale has begun. With some pretty nice savings on Apple iPads, Samsung and Vizio 4K TVs, laptops, and Google Home devices, now is a great time to snag some electronics for cheap.
Deals

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy drop discounts

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.